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The Isle of Islay spans 240 square miles, with an impressive 130 miles of coastline. The island is famous for its malt whiskies, and there are eight distilleries on the island.

Scotland Experiences

Scotland Island Explorer

Itinerary

PRIVATE TOURS OR SMALL GROUP TOURS ~ SCOTLAND YOUR WAY

Our Scotland Island Explorer bike tour takes you through 3 of Scotland’s best islands: the isles of Arran, Islay and Jura. Enjoy a tutored whisky tasting including samples fresh from a cask and experience a guided Rib trip to the world famous Corryvreckan Whirlpool

Throughout the week you will enjoy rides on the Isles of Arran, Jura and Islay as well as crossing the Mull of Kintyre and spending time in Glasgow.

At the end of each day, relax in hand chosen accommodations with wonderful, local food, ales and whiskies, providing an authentic taste of the islands.

7 days/ 6 nights Classic Guided Bike Tour
From £1,795 per person sharing

INTRODUCTION

This island hopping bike trip has the perfect ingredients for a wonderful bike tour of the Scottish Isles. A green graded trip, this  is also the perfect introduction to bike touring in Scotland.  During the week we will enjoy day rides on the Islands of Arran, Islay and Jura on an island hopping adventure, packed with wildlife, ferries, quiet roads and routes, quality accommodation, seafood, distilleries, whisky and a fantastic rib trip to the Corryvreckan Whirlpool to top it off! A magical combination.

DAY 1: SCOTLAND IN MINIATURE

Meet and greet in Glasgow, from which we depart to the west coast, where we catch the ferry from Ardrossan to the Isle of Arran. Arran is often described as “Scotland in Miniature” and has the Highland-Lowland dividing line running through the middle of the Island, dividing the wild, unspoiled, mountainous north, dominated by the peak of Goat Fell, and the forest, farmland and resorts of the south.

The crossing through the Firth of Clyde takes 55 minutes and arrives into the main village of Brodick. On arrival we will make the short transfer to our accommodation for the next two nights. After lunch we will spend some time fine tuning the bikes and ensuring everyone is set up for weeks riding. After a short ride, there will be time to enjoy the leisure facilities at the hotel, including a swimming pool, sauna and steam room to help relax before a welcome dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Brodick on the Isle of Arran. (L,D)
Daily Miles: 8 miles/13 km

DAY 2: CASTLES, CAVES AND CRAGS

Today’s bike route will take us around the southern half of Arran. The day is jam packed with island scapes and the coastline  including standing stones, caves and castles and. We will also be treated to great views across to Kinytyre and back to the mainland. Commencing in Lamlash we head south through Whiting Bay, and on to the south side of the island. We stop at a local ‘Velo Cafe’ before turning North again. The island is full of points of interest, such as caves, ancient standing stones, castles and crags. You also have stunning coastal vistas to the mainland. There will be time to explore the picturesque villages before arriving back to Brodick and back to Lamlash. This evening we will enjoy a well deserved dinner at the hotel. (B, L)

Daily Distance: 41 miles/65 km

DAY 3: ISLAND HOPPING

This mornings ride skirts by Goat Fell, the highest peak on Arran standing at 874 metres (2,866 ft) to the village of Lochranza and its ruined castle. We have two short ferry crossings: a short ferry crossing takes us to Kintyre Peninsula. The second ferry from Kennacriag to Islay is a voyage of exploration about 2 hours taking us past the Isle of Ghia and through the Sound of Jura, where we can look out for minkie whales, dolphins and basking sharks.

On arrival in Port Askaig, we will hop back on the bikes and ride towards our accommodation and base for the next two nights. (B,L)
Daily Distance: 36.2 miles/52 km

DAY 4: WILDLIFE AND WHISKY

This morning we transfer to the coastal village of Portnahaven,  following the west coast of the island to Port Charlotte. A picturesque ride, with views of Orsay Island. Picnic lunch overlooking the sea.

Back on the bikes we start to ride back to our accommodation at Brigend via Loch Gruinart, where we can stop off to visit the small RSPB Center where they relate the importance of Islay to many bird species such as migrating geese, corn rake, lapwing and hen harrier. (B,L)

Daily Distance: 38.8 miles/62 km

DAY 5: ISLAND EXPLORING

Today will be a short day of riding on Islay’s quiet country roads. Setting off from Port Ellen, we reach the Coast once more and turn left, following the road along the Whisky Coast – passing the island’s 3 famous distilleries of Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg. We carry on a short distance to reach the Kildalton Cross, a monolithic Celtic Cross.

We then ride back to Ardbeg fir lunch in the cafe before spending the afternoon enjoying a tutored whisky tasting. Afterward, we transfer back to Brigend.

DAY 6: JURA AND THE CORRYVRECKAN WHIRLPOOL

This morning we transfer the short distance to Port Askaig, where we board the passenger ferry, crossing the fast flowing Sound of Islay and reaching the Jura in a little over five minutes. We follow the eastern coastline of the Island watching out for red deer and the many Iron Age Forts, ancient burial grounds and standing stones as we bike along the east coast of the Island towards the main village of Craighouse.

The highlight of the afternoon is  when we load up the bikes and take a private boat trip to visit the Corryvreckan Whirlpool, the third largest whirlpool in the world. From here the boat takes us back to the mainland, where there is an option to cycle the last few miles back to our hotel, set in 17 acres of gardens and beach overlooking the coast. Farewell dinner tonight and perhaps a dram to celebrate a fantastic week of Island hopping. (B,L,D)
Daily Distance: 36 miles/57 km

DAY 7: RETURN TO GLASGOW

After a leisurely breakfast at our hotel there will be time for a short walk around the neighbouring Arduannie Gardens. The gardens are run and maintained by the National Trust for Scotland and benefit form the warming effect of the North Atlantic drift.

Due to the proximity to the sea, this allows the cultivation of many rare and tender plants from around the world.

Our journey back to Glasgow will take us around 2 hours 45 minutes, passing through Inverary and Loch Fyne, where we can stop at the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar and Deli for a bite to eat before returning to Glasgow. (B)

 

What’s Included?

  • 7 days professional guiding with lead guide plus assistant guide/support driver
  • 6 nights accommodation in 3* and 4* hotels/ inns/guest houses on a B&B basis
  • Meals stated in the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • Vehicle transport throughout including ride support and luggage transfers
  • All ferry transport and local boat services
  • Entrance and admission fees as stated in the
    itinerary
  • Ride snacks, home baking and drinks

What’s not included?

BIKE HIRE £175 per hire

Most of our clients choose to hire bikes but you are more than welcome to bring your own. We are confident in saying that our hire bike fleet
is the best in Scotland with a range of models and sizes to suit each rider. The bikes we use are brand new each season and maintained to
the highest standards. You can choose between:

Road Bikes:  ~ Merida Ride 400
Hybrid Bikes:  ~ Merida Shaper 400

Pricing is £175 per bike, per trip

Each bike comes equipped with a bike computer, compact handlebar bag (with map case) to carry your daily essentials e.g. camera, snacks, waterproof and a saddle bag with spare tube, tyre levers and pump.

Dates and Pricing

PRICE: from £1795 per person sharing

Bike rental extra (see bike rates under ‘what is not included’ above)

2019 DATES

  • 11th May – 17th May – £1795.00 –  8 places remaining
  • 13th July – 19th July – £1795.00 –  8 places remaining
  • 17th August – 23rd August – £1795.00 – 8 Places remaining

Helpful Notes

EQUIPMENT
For this trip you will to need to bring suitable gear for a 6 day road cycling trip. A full equipment list will be sent to you on booking.

GETTING THERE AND AWAY
You will be met by your guide at 11:00 on Day 1 of the trip at Glasgow Queen Street train station. We will return to Glasgow Queen
Street train station around 14:00 on Day 6

OUR TRIP STYLE
Our approach to road cycling holidays balances the best of both worlds – great guiding and insights when you would like it, alongside the freedom to explore at your pace. At breakfast each day, you will receive a guide briefing and detailed route notes for the day’s ride. Depending upon your preference, you can choose to ride with your guide or simply
follow the route notes and re-group at designated points along the way.

Typically our clients really enjoy the insights our guides are
able to provide into the nature, history and culture of Scotland.

Throughout the day your second guide and support vehicle will always be close to hand to provide drinks, snacks and a friendly ride should you need it. The support vehicle will take care of all of your luggage transferring it from hotel to hotel each day.